Malaysia is still known as probably the best role model of a liberal and tolerant Islamic country in the world. This image is increasingly fading, especially given incidents that have occurred over the past year. One example of this is the effort to introduce Sharia penal law (hudud) in the federal state of Kelantan. Its implementation requires amendments to the federal law, so the introduction is still pending, but it clearly shows an increasing Islamic conservatism. The opposition parties even split over this issue in June 2015, which in the long term might mean that Islamic parties currently opposed to each other might unite to protect Islam. Observers are calling the Malaysian society increasingly racist, as the ethnic Malay majority is clearly being favored, while the Chinese and Indian ethnicities (as well as the indigenous tribal population) living in the eastern part of Malaysia are discriminated against. Malaysia has witnessed an increasing political, social and religious instability recently, and there are no signs that these developments will cease any time soon.
Sarawak is the only state in Malaysia that currently allows anyone to convert from Islam. If the court decides to reverse Rooney Rebit’s case, they will essentially be outlawing anyone in Malaysia from converting to Christianity.
Roony was born into a Christian family, but his official registration was changed to Islam after his parents converted when he was 8 years old, despite his continued faith in Jesus. Now over 30 years later . . .